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Christmas Service Available for Seafarers as a Digital Download from Isle of Man Registry

24th December 2021
Christmas: As Crews matter, a special seafarers’ Christmas service available as a digital download for seamen over the festive period has been developed by the Isle of Man Ship Registry and Dutch Seafarers’ Mission Association -Nederlandse Zeevarenden Centrale. Christmas: As Crews matter, a special seafarers’ Christmas service available as a digital download for seamen over the festive period has been developed by the Isle of Man Ship Registry and Dutch Seafarers’ Mission Association -Nederlandse Zeevarenden Centrale.

A special seafarers’ Christmas service available as a digital download for crew over the festive period has been developed by the Isle of Man Ship Registry (IOMSR) and the Dutch Seafarers’ Mission Association -Nederlandse Zeevarenden Centrale (NZC).

OMSR director Cameron Mitchell said the Christmas celebration is available now on its Crew Matters seafarer welfare app, having being recorded at the St Nicolas Church in Monnickendam in the Netherlands by the Dutch Seafarers’ Mission Association, which is a member of the International Christian Maritime Association (ICMA).

Mr Mitchell, a former seafarer himself, said he hoped the service would give a boost to seamen away at Christmas and emphasised the Crew Matters app is available for free to the world’s 1.6m seafarers via the Apple store and Google Play (see links below).

“With around 400,000 seafarers coming from the Philippines we recognise how important their faith is to them, as well as Christian seafarers of other nationalities,” he said. “So when ICMA and the seafarer charity Stella Maris approached us to broadcast the service on our app we thought it was a brilliant idea.

Faith charities do a vital job in port, the key is now to harness technology to extend that care to seafarers at sea. Due to working and covid restrictions many seafarers will not be able to visit churches over Christmas. We hope this mass provides some spiritual comfort when so many seafarers are away from home and loved ones.”

Jason Zuidema, ICMA General Secretary, welcomed the initiative. “It can be difficult to be away from family and friends during the Christmas season,” he said.

“For this reason, seafarers’ missions around the world prepare small gifts for seafarers, to bring a bit of cheer and let them know their hard work is appreciated. Seafarers cannot attend Christmas celebrations at home with family and friends, so it is great we can help bring the celebration to them.”
Cameron said as well as religious services the app provides a range of helpful services in line with feedback from seafarers themselves.

“The app is designed for seafarers by seafarers,” he said. “We’ve spoken to seafarers and listened to how we can improve their life at sea. This includes fitness and wellbeing sessions and educational classes and events like the mass. Seafarers can also log their shifts in a sea service record book, and if they feel stressed or unwell there is a live SOS function which provides immediate access to a confidential helpline or chatbox function connecting to ISWAN’s specially trained team of counsellors and psychologists 24-hours-a-day seven-days-a-week.

On a practical level Cameron said the app also tackles the problem of storing seafarer documentation in one place, as well as providing a link to trade union Nautilus with details of membership, news, careers, and jobs and training opportunities. He said the app contains a wealth of information from the ship registry including the master’s handbook, port services and marine traffic.

“The feedback we are receiving from seafarers and ship owners is really positive,” he said. “Seafarers want more positive things to do at sea while ship owners want to find new ways to help seafarers and embrace digitisation.”

Download Crew Matters app on Apple through this link.

Also with GooglePlay here. 

Published in Ports & Shipping
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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